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The 
THOREAU  SOCIETY 
BULLETIN 


BULLETIN  191 


Spring,  1990 


US  ISSN  0040-6406 


A  PRONOUNCING  GUIDE  TO  THE  NAME  THOREAU 
by  James  Dawson 

How  do  you  pronounce  the  name  Thoreau? 
Most  everyone  pronounces  it  incorrectly. 
New  Englanders  accent  the  first  syllable 
while  everyone  else  accents  the  last.  Nearly 
everyone,  that  is.   The  citizens  of  Thoreau, 
New  Mexico  say  Thru.   What  is  correct? 

In  his  THE  ANNOTATE©  WALDEN,  Phillip  Van 
Doren  Stern  decided  to  settle  the  question. 
He  wrote,  "Although  millions  of  people  say 
Thoro',  they  pronounce  the  name  incorrectly. 
The  citizens  of  Concord — who  should  know 
because  the  Thoreau  tradition  has  made  a 
lasting  impression  on  the  town — say  Thurrow, 
as  in  furrow."  (1)   T.  Morris  Longstreth 
in  his  HENRY  THOREAU,  AMERICAN  REBEL  wrote, 
"Thoreau  is  pronounced  thorough  in  his  na- 
tive region  as  Henry  lived  his  name,  that  is, 
thoroughly."  (2)   Van  Doren  Stern  and  Long- 
streth agree  with  each  other.   WEBSTER'S  NEW 
COLLEGIATE  DICTIONARY  says  that  both  furrough 
and  thorough  are  pronounced  the  same — that 
is,  that  the  u  in  furrow  and  the  o  in  thor- 
ough are  pronounced  like  the  u  in  urn.   Puns 
and  tradition  aside,  is  this  correct?  Act- 
ually— no. 

If  you  walk  around  Concord,  you  will  hear 
the  name  pronounced  two  ways:  Thur'-ro 
(or  Thorough)  and  Thor'-ro  with  the  o  pro- 
nounced like  the  o  in  more.   Concordians 
can't  even  agree.   Canby  may  have  noted 
this  in  his  biography  THOREAU  when  he  wrote 
"Henry  David  Thoreau  (pronounced  in  the  Con- 
cord of  that  day  tho'row  or  thorough)."  (3) 
I  can't  find  that  Emerson  or  any  of  Thoreau 's 
early  biographers  made  any  pronouncements 
on  the  subject,,  but  some  of  his  friends  had 
trouble  at  first.   When  Bronson  Alcott  met 
Thoreau  for  the  first  time  in  1839,  he  spelled 
the  name  phonetically  in  his  journal  as 
Thorough.  (4)   However  when  Hawthorne  met 
Thoreau  in  1842,  he  seems  to  have  heard  the 
name  differently.   He  wrote,  "Sept.  1st 
Thursday.   Mr.  Thorow  dined  with  us  yester- 
day." (5)   No  agreement  here — we  seem  to  be 
back  to  Thurrow  and  Thor-ro. 

The  name  is  French.   I  asked  a  French- 
woman, an  English  teacher,  on  her  first 
trip  to  America  how  the  name  was  pronounced 
in  France.   She  didn't  know — she  only  knew 
the  American  pronunciation.   Would  Thoreau 's 
pronunciation  have  been  French  or  American? 

An  unnamed  classmate  of  Thoreau 's  settles 
this  question  only  to  add  more  confusion. 
Answering  a  newspaper  query  on  the  subject, 
he  wrote,  "Whoever  pronounces  Mr.  Thoreau 's 
name  as  "thorough"  pronounces  it  barbarously. 
His  ancestors  were  French,  but  he  never 
pronounced  his  name  as  a  Frenchman  would, 
omitting  the  sound  of  the  h,  but  accented 
the  last  syllable,  Thoreau  or  Tho-row."(6) 
Now  we  have  seven  pronunciations  counting  the 
French  and  the  New  Mexican:  Thur'-ro,  Thur-ro' 
Thor'-ro,  Thor-ro',  Tho-ro',  Tor-ro '  and 
Thru.   This  is  certainly  a  record  for  varia- 
tions of  an  author's  name. 


The  Thoreau  Society,  Inc.,  is  an  informal 
gathering  of  students  and  admire?s  of  Henry 
David  Thoreau.   Thomas  Blanding,  president; 
Eric  Parkman  Smith,  Treas.;  and  Walter  Hard- 
ing, sec.   Address  communications  to  the  sec- 
retary at  19  Oak  St.,  Geneseo,  N.Y.  14454. 
Dues:  $20;  students,  $10;  family,  $35;  bene- 
factor, $100;  life  member,  $500.   Dues 
should  be  sent  to  the  Thoreau  Society,  156 
Belknap  St.,  Concord,  Mass.  01742  where  the 
Society  sponsors  the  Thoreau  Lyceum. 


How  did  the  Thoreau  family  pronounce 
their  name?   In  1880  someone  sent  the  news- 
paper clipping  to  Maria  Thoreau  for  her  com- 
ment.  She  answered,  "A  few  days  since  I 
receiv'd  a  note. . .wishing  me  to  answer  this 
Query  respecting  the  name  Thoreau.   But  as  I 
have  borne  the  "barbarous"  as  well  as  the 
ludicrous  pronunciation  of  it  for  so  many 
years  I  think  I  will  let  the  controversy 
settle  it."  (7)   Although  Aunt  Maria  seemed 
to  be  fed  up  with  the  subject,  she  did  agree 
with  the  classmate  that  the  pronunciation 
Thorough  was  "barbarous,"  however  Tho-ro' 
with  the  last  syllable  accented  was  "ludi- 
crous." This  leaves  us  with  Thor'-ro. 

How  did  Henry  Thoreau  pronounce  Thoreau? 
Perhaps  we  get  a  clue  in  CAPE  COD  when  he 
playfully  compares  himself  with  a  viking: 
"But  whether  Thor-finn  saw  the  mirage  or 
not,  Thor-eau,  one  of  the  same  family  did." 
(8)   Thor'-ro,  not  Thur'-ro,  Thor-ro'  or 
Tho-ro'.   I  believe  this  settles  it. 

Actually,  we  don't  say  the  name  exactly 
as  H.D.T.  did.   Channing  wrote  that  Thoreau 
had  a  peculiar  way  of  pronouncing  his  r's 
as  if  they  had  a  slight  burr  to  them.  (9) 
Thoreau  would  have  pr-r-ronounced  his  name 
Thor-r-reau. 

(1)  Stern,  Philip  Van  Doren.   THE  ANNOTAT- 
ED WALDEN  (New  York:  Clarkson  Potter,  1970), 
p. 3. 

(2)  Longstreth,  T.  Morris.  HENRY  THOREAU, 
AMERICAN  REBEL.  (New  York:  Dodd,  Mead,  1963) 
p.  140. 

(3)  Canby,  Henry  S.   THOREAU  (Boston: 
Houghton  Mifflin,  1939),  p. 3. 

(4)  Canby,  p.  458. 

(5)  Harding,  Walter.   THOREAU,  MAN  OF 
CONCORD  (New  York:  Holt,  Rinehart  &  Winston, 
1960),  p.  154. 

(6)  Todd,  Mabel  Loomis.   THE  THOREAU 
FAMILY  TWO  GENERATIONS  AGO.   (Berkeley 
Heights,  N.J.:  Oriole  Press,  1958 ), pp. 20- 
21  (THOREAU  SOCIETY  BOOKLET  #13) 

(7)  Todd,  p.  21. 

(8)  Thoreau, Henry  D.   CAPE  COD  (Boston: 
Ticknor  £.  Fields,  1865),  p.  178 

(9)  Channing,  Ellery.  THOREAU,  THE  POET- 
NATURALIST  (Boston:  Roberts  Bros.,  1873), 

p.  2 . 


1 1-1-53 


THOREAU  AND  RAISIN  BREAD  by  Walter  Harding 

For  some  years  now  there  have  been  rumors 
circulating  that  Henry  Thoreau  was  the  inventor 
of  raisin  bread.   The  earliest  printed   state- 
ment of  these  rumors  that  I  have  been  able 
to  find  was  in  a  column  by  Ann  Batchelder  in 
the  September,  1943,  LADIES  HOME  JOURNAL 
where  she  says,  "It  was  over  a  hundred  years 
ago  that  Thoreau,  the  one-time  nature  hound, 
left  the  trees  and  brooks  long  enough  to 
invent  raisin  bread! "   Where  she  got  the 
idea  I  have  no  notion,  nor  does  she  give 


any  source. 

When  in  1965  I  published  my  DAYS  OF  HENRY 
THOREAU,  I  mentioned  these  rumors  because, 
as  I  said  in  the  introduction,  "I  have  not 
hesitated  at  times  to  introduce  what  I  was 
almost  certain  was  apocryphal,  keeping  in 
mind  Thoreau's  own  statement  in  his  sketch 
of  Sir  Walter  Raleigh — 'It  does  not  matter 
much  whether  the  current  stories  are  true 
or  not,  since  they  at  least  prove  his  re- 
putation. ' " 

Frankly  I  was  strongly  suspicious  of  the 
Batchelder  statement  because  I  thought  in- 
serting raisins  into  bread  must  have  been 
common  long  before  Thoreau's  day,  but  I 
was  unable  to  prove  it.   I  was  pleased 
therefore  when  recently  in  conversation 
with  Lisa  Whalen,  domestic  arts  supervisor 
at  Plimoth  Plantation  in  Plymouth,  Mass., 
to  have  her  confirm  my  suspicions.   She 
told  me  that  adding  raisins  to  bread  dough 
was  commonplace  even  as  early  as  Elizabethan 
England  and  cited  as  an  example  a  recipe  in 
THE  COMPLEAT  COOK  published  in  London  by 
Tyler  &  Holt  in  1671  (p.  14). 

She  then  went  on  to  explain  that  in  those 
days  such  concoctions  were  usually  referred 
to  as  "plum  cakes"--"plum"  then  being  a 
generic  term  for  any  dried  fruit  and  "cake" 
being  a  term  for  any  pastry  made  from  dough 
and  filled  with  fruit.   Thoreau  himself 
used  the  term  "plum  cake"  frequently  (See, 
for  example,  CORRESPONDENCE,  p.  623).   He 
often  took  plum  cakes  with  him  on  his  ex- 
cursions as  an  easy  way  to  pack  a  good  deal 
of  food  energy  into  a  small  space.   Having 
somewhat  of  a  sweet  tooth,  he  probably 
packed  them  with  more  raisins  than  usual. 
Concord  housewives,  who  delighted  in  being 
shocked  by  Thoreau's  antics,  probably  in- 
advertently gave  him  improper  credit  for 
inventing  raisin  bread. 


/• 


12-31-53 


cast  new  and  different  spells  on  me,  fore- 
most of  which  was  the  desire  to  work  with 
ideas — to  be  a  teacher. 

As  a  teacher  I  expressed  my  admiration 
of  Thoreau's  writings  and  his  ideas  so  con- 
vincingly that  one  of  my  school  newspaper 
staffs  surprised  me  with  an  end-of-the-year 
gift  of  the  two-volume  set  of  Thoreau's 
journal . 

I  joined  the  Thoreau  Society,  the  Lyceum, 
and  the  Thoreau  Foundation,  relishing  the 
opportunities  to  read  the  latest  ideas 
about  Thoreau.   In  fact,  I  relived  the  early 
history  of  the  society,  sprawled  out  on  the 
floor  nightly,  reading  the  bound  copies 
of  the  first  hundred  numbers  of  the  bulletin. 
It  captivated  me  with  the  magical  air  of 
the  founding  of  Fruitlands,  and  I  felt 
that  I  was  somehow  a  part  of  those  early 
years  of  the  society,  just  by  reading  the 
old  bulletins. 

My  enthusiasm  has  carried  over  into  my 
teaching,  too,  where  Thoreau  often  comes 
up  as  an  example  in  our  study  of  vocabulary, 
or  in  an  examination  of  a  poem,  or  wherever 
else  an  analogy  seems  apt.   At  times  I've 
noticed  that  this  motif-like  return  to 
Thoreau  allusions  creates  a  special  bond 
within  a  class. 

When  I  neared  the  completion  of  my  mas- 
ter 's  degree  in  English,  I  took  an  independent 
study  on  Thoreau,  and  this  caused  me  to 
appreciate  Thoreau's  WEEK  so  much  that  I 
chose  it  for  the  topic-.of  my  thesis,  which 
argued  that  Mircea  Eliade's  ideas  on  the 
myths  of  archaic  man  can  be  used  to  view 
Thoreau's  WEEK  as  a  redemptive  myth. 

Other  teachers  have  seen  my  interest  in 
Thoreau,  and  one  colleague  even  presented  me 
with  my  very  own  rock  taken  from  beside 
Walden  Pond. 


'— Z.     %  lZ^-  10-31-53 


r~  ~ 


I  DISCOVER  THOREAU  by  Denny  Bowden 

[Ed.  note:   This  is  another  in  our  series 
on  discovering  Thoreau.   We  would  welcome 
similar  short  essays  from  any  of  our  mem- 
bers who  have  had  unusual  experiences  in 
personally  discovering  Thoreau.] 

Shortly  after  I  turned  19  (when  I  didn't 
know  beans),  I  started  carrying  around  a 
Signet  edition  of  WALDEN,  not  realizing  the 
impact  that  it  would  have.   For  several 
weeks  I  read  and  re-read  the  book,  dog-ear- 
ing the  corners  with  my  rough  but  earnest 
treatment.   Before  long  I  looked  at  my 
world  and  my  life  with  new  eyes,  and  I  put 
my  sports  car  up  for  sale. 

My  girlfriend  didn't  like  the  changes 
she  saw;  my  parents  didn't  understand,  but 
new  vistas  opened  up  for  me,  and  literature, 
philosophy,  and  nature  were  transformed, 
and  I  decided  to  plant  my  first  garden. 
Of  course,  with  repeated  readings,  WALDEN 


ADDITIONS  TO  THE  THOREAU  BIBLIOGRAPHY  by  WH 

Albom,  Mitch.   "Lawrence  DeLisle's  Quiet  De- 
speration."  DETROIT  FREE  PRESS.   Jan.  14, 
1990.   Today's  desperate  life. 

Arnett,  H.   "A  Motorcycle  at  Walden."   CYCLE, 
40  (Oct.  1989),  16. 

Balota,  N.   "Walden"  in  UNIVERSUL  PROZEI . 
Bucuresti :  Editura  Eminescu,  1976.   Text 
in  Romanian. 

Burbick,  Joan.   THOREAU'S  ALTERNATIVE  HISTORY. 
Review:   JOURNAL  OF  AMERICAN  STUDIES, 
Dec.  1988. 

Dean,  Bradley.   "An  Orthodox  Response  to 

'Life  Misspent.'"   THOREAU  RESEARCH  NEWS- 
LETTER [TRN],  I  (Jan.  1990). 

"The  Reverend  Daniel  Foster:  A  Bib- 
liographical Study."   TRN,  I  (Jan.  1990). 

"Thoreau's  Illness  of  1855."   TRN, 
I  (Jan.  1990). 

Dedmond,  Francis  B.   "The  Selected  Letters 
of  William  Ellery  Channing  the  Younger 
(Part  One)"  in  STUDIES  IN  THE  AMERICAN 


RENAISSANCE  1989,  pp.   115-218.   38  let- 
ters from  Channing  to  various  people, 
including  several  to  HDT),  from  1836-44, 
which  often  shed  light  on  Thoreau's  ac- 
tivities, all  carefully  transcribed  and 
annotated  in  the  style  we  have  learned 
to  expect  from  both  Dedmond  and  SAR. 
The  start  of  an  important  edition. 
Fleck,  Richard  F.   "The  Bird  Journal  of  So- 
phia, John,  and  Henry  David  Thoreau." 
BULLETIN  OF  RESEARCH  IN  THE  HUMANITIES, 
87  (1987),  489-508. 
Foster,  Edward  Halsey.   RICHARD  BRAUTIGAN. 
Boston:  Twayne,  1983.   Pages  63-5,  a 
discussion  of  TROUT  FISHING  IN  AMERICA 
as  a  parody  of  WALDEN. 
Hansen,  Olaf.   "Henry  David  Thoreau"  in 

AESTHETIC  INDIVIDUALISM  AND  PRACTICAL  IN- 
TELLECT.  Princeton  Univ.  Press,  1990. 
pp.  123-40.   "The  relentless  pursuit  of 
reality,  as  we  find  it  exemplified  in 
Thoreau's  journals,  is  the  aesthetic 
answer  to  nature's  diffidence." 
Harding,  Walter.   THE  DAYS  OF  HENRY  THOREAU. 
Chap.  11,  trans,  into  Japanese  by  Koh 
Kasegawa.   SHI  TO  SAMBUN,  47  (Jan.  10, 
1990),  5-15. 
Harding,  Walter,  editor.   THOREAU  AS  SEEN 
BY  HIS  CONTEMPORARIES.   New  York:  Dover, 
1989.  xxiii  +  245pp.   Paperback.   This 
revised  and  expanded  republication  of 
THOREAU:  MAN  OF  CONCORD  (1960)  presents 
more  than  200  valuable  impressions  of 
Thoreau  the  man — impressions  recorded 
in  first-hand  accounts  by  Emerson,  Horace 
Greeley,  William  Dean  Howells,  James  Rus- 
sell Lowell,  Ellery  Channing  (of  course!), 
the  Alcotts  (Bronson  and  Louisa  May), 
Whitman,  Hawthorne,  and  some  ten  dozen 
or  more  of  his  other  neighbors  and  towns- 
men, acquaintances  and  friends,  class- 
mates and  associates :  people  who  knew 
Thoreau  well  and  people  who  had  met  him 
but  once,  people  who  liked  him  and  people 
who  didn't.   There  is  a  new  preface  (in 
addition  to  the  original),  a  new  biblio- 
graphy, and  an  index  (the  last  lacking 
in  the  original  book).   Valuable  new 
material  is  drawn  from  Edward  Emerson's 
notes  for  his  book  on  Thoreau  (unearthed 
by  Harding  during  the  early  1960s),  some 
of  it  heretofore  unpublished;  from  the 
diaries  of  John  Shepard  Keyes;  and  from 
miscellaneous  other  writings  (for  which 
Harding  duly  acknowledges  the  contribu- 
tions of  other  contemporary  toilers  in 
the  field  of  Thoreau  studies).   The  im- 
mediacy, variety,  and  (yes)  charm  of  the 
accounts  are  the  book's  great  strength. 
And,  despite  discrepancies  due  to  the 
writers'  biases  for  or  against  Thoreau, 
the  unique,  multifaceted  personality  of 
this  enigmatic  man  shines  forth  as  bril- 
liantly here  as  it  does  from  every  sen- 
tence he  everwrote,  making  it  all  but 
impossible  to  mistake  the  man  they  de- 
scribe for  Ralph  Waldo  Emerson,  in  spite 
of  some  invidious  comparisons  offered  by 
supporters  and  detractors  of  Thoreau  a- 
like!   It  is  good  to  have  all  of  these 
primary  documents  in  print,  easily  a- 
vailable  for  reference,  for  edification, 


aye,  even  for  pleasure.   Every  Thoreau- 
vian — scholar,  "enthusiast,"  or  otherwise 
— will  want  to  own  this  important  new 
volume. — E.  A.  Schofield. 

Miwa,  Hisae.   [THOREAU'S  POETIC  DESIRE]. 

Tokyo:  Ohshisha,  1988.   Text  in  Japanese. 

Nash,  Roderick.   THE  RIGHTS  OF  NATURE. 
Univ.  of  Wise.  Press,  1989.   Includes 
extensive  comments  on  Thoreau's  part  in 
the  fight  for  the  rights  of  nature. 

Okuda,  Joichi.  [H.D. THOREAU  AND  CRYSTALIZA- 
TION]   Tokyo:  Kirihara  Shoten,  1989. 
xi,  186pp.   Text  in  Japanese.   Preface  by 
Koh  Kasegawa.   A  study  of  chrystal  images 
in  Thoreau's  works. 

Patterson,  Randall.   "How  the  County  Failed 
Henry  Thoreau."  HILLSBOROUGH  [N.C.] 
NEWS  OF  ORANGE  COUNTY.   Feb.  14,  1990. 
Satire:  Thoreau  finds  it  tough  living  in 
a  modern  suburb. 


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Petroski,  Henry.  THE  PENCIL.  New  York: 
Knopf,  1989.  "An  American  Pencil-Making 
Family,"  pp.  104j-25.  By  far  the  most 
detailed  and  authoritative  study  yet  of 
the  Thoreau  family  pencil  business,  with 
much  additional  material  not  included  in 
his  earlier  magazine  essay. 

Pinkston,  Joan.   "Thoreau  and  Current  Trends 
in  the  Teaching  of  Writing."   ENGLISH 
JOURNAL, 78, (Nov.  1989),  50-2. 

Saffron,  Inga.   "Yo,  Bard;  School's  Not  Hard." 
DETROIT  FREE  PRESS.   Jan.  TOT  1990.   On 
teaching  Thoreau  in  the  public  schools  to- 
day. 

Sattelmeyer,  Robert.   THOREAU'S  READING. 
Review:  AMERICAN  LITERATURE,  Oct.  1989. 

Shinbo,  Satoru.  [THOREAU,  HIS  LIFE  STYLE]. 
Kyoto:  Hokujusha,  1989.  198pp.  Text  in 
Japanese.  Research  into  Thoreau's  way 
of  thinking  on  both  nature  and  religion, 
relating  it  to  the  works  of  Donne,  Blake, 
Goethe,  Schopenhauer,  and  both  Christian 
and  Zen  thought. 

Thoreau,  Henry  D.   CAPE  COD  [Princeton  edi- 
tion].  Review:   A  B  BOOKMAN'S  WEEKLY, 
Aug.  7,  1989 j  ENCOUNTER,  May,  1989. 

•   IN  WILDNESS  IS  THE  PRESERVATION  OF 

THE  WORLD.   [Eliot  Porter  photographs]. 
Review:  AMERICAN  FORESTS,  July,  1989. 

.   ON  THE  DUTY  OF  CIVIL  DISOBEDIENCE. 

Introduction  by  George  Woodcock.   Chica- 
go: Charles  H.  Kerr.   1989.   40pp.. 
$3.95.   A  handy,  well-printed,  inexpensive 
edition. 


WALDEN.   Trans,  into  Romanian  by 
Stefan  Avadanei  &  Al.  Pascu.   Forward  by 
M.  Gradinaru.   Biographical  notes  by 
Don  Eulert.   Iasi :  Juniraea,  1973. 

.   WALDEN  SAU  VIESTA-nN  PADURE.   Trans. 

into  Romanian  by  A.  Museiu  from  the  French 
of  M.  Fabulet.   With  an  introduction  by  Karl 
Federn,  with  Emerson's  essay  on  Thoreau, 
and  notes  by  Francis  H.  Allen.   Bucaresti : 
BIblioteca  Revistei  Ideei,  1936. 

.   WALKING:  EXCERPTS  FROM  THE  ESSAY. 

Photographs  by  Jill  Sabella.   New  York: 
Stewart  Tabori  &  Chang,  1989.   Unpaged. 
$9.95.   A  beautifully  printed  little 
"gift  book"  edition  of  quotations  from 
the  essay. 

Todd,  Richard.   "The  Food  of  Love,"   NEW  ENG- 
LAND MONTHLY.   (Jan.  1990),  24-5.   HDT  is 
corrupted  by  a  present-day  dinner  planner. 

Vickery,  Jim  Dale.   "Wilderness  Visions." 
BACKPACKER,  17  (Oct.  1989),  30+ 

Williams,  Michael.   AMERICANS  AND  THEIR  FORESTS 
Cambridge  Univ.  Press,  1989.   p.  17  discusses 

Thoreau' s  influence  on  American  attitudes 
towards  their  forests. 
Yasinski,  Nick.   "Swimming  in  Walden."  VIR- 
GINIA LITERARY  REVIEW,  9  (1989),  poem. 

We  are  indebted  to  the  following  for  informa- 
tion sent  in  for  the  bulletin:  C. Adams, C. 
Ander son, D.Barto,T.Blandi ng, J. Burger, J. Daw- 
son, B. Dean, F.Fenn,L. Fergensen, M.Ferguson, W. 
Glick,L.Gougeon,G.Hendrick,E.Jacobson,E. 
Johnson, D . Kamen-Kaye , D . Lionel , K . L j  unqui  st , 
U--^yons,A.McGrath,C.Mamali,T.Mansbridge,J. 
M°l'denhauer ,  E .  Schof  ield  ,M .  Shanks  ,M .  Sperber , 
J.Welch,  and  L. Willis.   Please  keep  the  sec- 
retary informed  of  items  he  has  missed  and 
new  ones  as  they  appear. 


9-4-53 


RECENT  DOCTORAL  DISSERTATIONS  (Cont.) 
(Xerox  copies  of  the  full  dissertation  may 
ordered  from  University  Microfilms,  300 
N  Zeeb  Rd.,  Ann  Arbor,  Mich.  48106. 

I  AN  UNIVERSITY  MICROFILMS  ORDER  NUMBER  ADG83-  1  1004.    0000. 

AU  GRICE-STEPHEN-ERNEST. 

IN  SOUTHERN  ILLINOIS  UNIVERSITY  AT  CARBONDALE  (0209)  PH.D.  1982.   198 
PAGES. 

Tl  DEATH  IN  THE  WRITINGS  OF  HENRY  DAVID  THOREAU. 

SO  DAI  V44I01).  SECA.  PP168. 

AB        This  dissertation  is  the  first  thorough  examination  of  the 
literally  thousands  of  death  references  in  Thoreau's  writings.    It 
chronologically  traces  the  development  of  his  final  view  of  death  as 
a  symbol  of  and  a  means  to  spiritual  immortality.    Along  the  way,  it 
points  out  a  few  inconsistencies  between  this  view  and  some  of  his 
other  death-related  ideas.    But  more  importantly,  it  looks  at  how 
this  view  affected  him  as  a  writer  and  helped  him  face  his  own 
death. 

Chapter  one  begins  with  a  brief,  selective  history  of  New 
England  attitudes  toward  death  from  the  landing  of  the  Pilgrims  in 
1620  urSil  Thoreau's  birth  in  1817.    It  then  looks  at  his  early 
indirect  contact  with  death  prior  to  the  death  of  his  brother,  John. 
in  1842.    It  examines  his  as  yet  untested  attitudes  toward  death  in 
his  early  writings--his  college  essays,  an  obituary,  and  his  1837-41 
journal. 

Chapter  two  describes  John's  death  and  Thoreau's  traumatic, 
psychosomatic  reaction.    It  then  traces  his  gradual  recovery  as  seen 
in  his  letters,  poetry,  1842-49  journal,  and  A  Week  on  the  Concord 
and  Merrimack  Rivers.    It  also  looks  at  his  more  general  views  on 
death  and  his  experimentation  with  death  imagery  in  his  1842-49 
journal,  his  Dial  essays.  "Resistance  to  Civil  Government,"  and  A 
Week. 

Chapters  three  and  four  discuss  his  use  of  death-related  ideas 


and  imagery  in  his  writings  from  1850  through  1854  and  from  1855 
through  his  posthumous  publications.    Chapter  three  looks  at  his 
1850-54  journal.  "A  Yankee  in  Canada,"  "Slavery  in  Massachusetts, 
and  Walden;  chapter  four,  his  1855-61  journal,  his  John  Brown 
essays  "Autumnal  Tints."  "Walking".  "Life  without  Principle  .  The 
Maine  Woods,  and  Cape  Cod.    Chapter  three  records  his  acceptance  of 
death  as  a  symbol  of  and  a  means  to  spiritual  immortality;  chapter 
four  examines  the  presence  of  this  view  in  his  final  writings. 
Chapter  five  reviews  his  lifelong  interest  in  other  peoples 
deathbed  scenes  and  his  admiration  for  the  heroic  death.    It  then 
sketches  his  final  illness,  ending  with  his  triumphant  death  in  May 
of  1862. 


W 


9-22-53 


THE  DEBATE  OVER  THOREAU'S  SCIENTIFIC 
CREDENTIALS  by  Lawrence  Buell  (Abstract 
of  a  1989  MLA  Lecture). 

Thoreau's  scientific  credentials  have 
been  a  subject  of  continual  debate,  owing 
in  the  first  instance  to  his  own  conflicting 
pronouncements  on  the  role  and  value  of 
science  and  to  his  ambiguous  position  in 
the  scientific  community  of  his  day.   As 
Thoreau  devoted  himself  more  seriously  to 
scientific  study,  he  paradoxically  became 
more  astringent  toward  science's  myopic 
vision.   As  a  member  of  the  New  England 
scientific  community,  his  primary  visible 
role  was  that  of  specimen  collector — a 
role  increasingly  identified  with  the 
fringes  rather  than  the  vanguard  of  scien- 
tific progress — yet  he  absorbed  Darwin 
before  many  of  America's  prominent  scien- 
tists did  and  in  retrospect  might  be  seen 
as  prophetically  in  advance  of  the  taxon- 
omy-oriented mentality  that  still  dominated 
mid-19th  century  science:  as  a  precursor 
of  as-yet-unbaptized  disciplines  like  ecolo- 
gy,  limnology,  and  phenology. 

The  question  of  the  place  that  science 
ought  to  be  seen  as  occupying  in  Thoreau's 
thought  and  work  has  also  been  viewed  very 
differently  at  different  points  in  the  his- 
tory of  Thoreau  scholarship.   Thoreau's 
reputation  as  a  writer,  especially  in 
America,  was  chiefly  nurtured  by  late  19th- 
century  literary  naturalists  whose  patriarch 
he  increasingly  seemed.   When  he  was  incor- 
porated into  the  American  literary  canon 
at  the  turn  of  the  century,  it  was  chiefly 
on  the  basis  of  his  stature  as  the  Ameri- 
can writer  as  scientist.   Within  a  few  de- 
cades, however,  this  aspect  of  Thoreau  has 
been  eclipsed  by  the  images  of  Thoreau  as 
social  radical  and/or  as  literary  craftsman, 
both  of  which  tended  to  marginalize  Thoreau 
the  natural  historian. 

Given  this  drift  in  the  first  half-century 
of  Thoreau's  reputation  as  a  canonical  fig- 
ure, it  is  striking  that  the  last  decade  or 
so  has  witnessed,  for  a  variety  of  reasons, 
a  rehabilitation  of  something  like  the 
earlier  image  of  the  scientistic  Thoreau. 
Some  obvious  signs  of  this  are  renewed  at- 
tention to  his  natural  history  writings  and 
the  two  most  recent  major  biographies  by 
Richardson  and  Howarth.   Equally  striking, 
however,  has  been  the  rate  at  which  Tho- 
reau's work  has  been  cited  by  practicing 
scientists  (cf.  Robin  McDowell's  two  TSB 
notes  and  Harding's  VQR  essay).   A  number 


of  these  citations  are  window-dressing, 
but  the  more  substantive  among  them  add 
up  to  a  rather  impressive  picture  of  Tho- 
reau'S  stature  as  a  figure  that  a  number 
of  scientists  are  glad  to  claim  him  as  a 
fellow  worker.   This  quasi-acceptance  of 
Thoreau  by  the  scientific  community  should 
not  inspire  complacency  in  literary  schol- 
ars, however;  on  the  contrary,  it  should 
inspire  renewed  efforts  within  our  disci- 
pline to  define  Thoreauvian  aesthetics, 
and  the  aesthetics  of  nonfiction  generally, 
in  a  way  that  is  capacious  enough  to  in- 
clude scientific  discourse. 

8-15-53 


FINANCING    THE    TEXAS    HOUSE   by. Walter    Harding. 

We   are  grateful    to   Robert   Galvin  for    pro- 
viding  us  with  copies  of   the   following   two 
documents    from   the  MIDDLESEX  COUNTY  REGISTRY 
RECORDS    (rcccXLIX,    297)   concerning    the   Tho- 
reau  family's   financing   of  what   they  always 
called   their   Texas  House,   which   they  built 
on  what  is   now  Belknap  Street   just  beyond 
what   is   now   the   Thoreau   Lyceum.      The   Texas 
House  was  badly  damaged  by  fire  and  wind   in 
the   late   1930s   and  was   eventually  torn  down 
in   the   1950s.      Another  building  has   since 
been  erected   on  its    site. 

In  1844,   when  the   railroad   from  Boston 
first  reached   Concord,    a    station  was   erected 
on  its   present   site  on  what  is  now  Thoreau 
Street.      David   Loring   purchased    the   adjacent 
Heywood   farm  and   opened   it   up   for  real   es- 
tate development. 

Although   the  Thoreaus  had   moved   to  what   they 
called   the  Yellow  House  on  Main  Street    (what 
is   now  known  as   the  Thoreau-Alcott  House)    in 
1850),    they  continued   to  own   the  Texas  House 
for  many  years,    renting   it  out   to  various 
tenants   such  as   the  Wassons   and   the   Robinsons. 
The    first   document   records    the   purchase 
for    tweaaty-f  ive   dollars   of    the   three-quart- 
ers  acre    lot    from   Loring;    the   second   records 
their   mortgaging    it    two   days    later    for 
five   hundred   dollars    to  Augustus   Tuttle 
to  buy   lumber  and   supplies   for   the   build- 
ing.     The   Thoreaus   finally  paid  off   the 
mortgage   eleven   years    later   in   1855. 

David  Loring   to  John  Thoreau  - 

Know  all  men  by   these   Presents,    That 
I,   David  Loring  of  Concord   in   the   County 
of  Middlesex  Commonwealth  of  Massachu- 
setts,   in  consideration  of  Twenty   five 
dollars    to  me    paid   by   John   Thoreau,    the 
receipt   wherof    is   hereby   acknowledged, 
do  hereby   give,    grant,    bargain,    sell   and 
convey  unto   the   said  Thoreau   a   certain 
tract   of   land   lying   in   said   Concord 
bounded   as    follows    commencing   at    the    South- 
easterly  corner   on  a   street   ^nd   by   land  of 
Nathan  W.    Brooks,    running  northerly   on 
said   Brook   one   hundred   and    seventy    seven 
feet    to   a   stake   and    stones,    then  westerly 
on   land  of   the   grantor   one  hundred   and 
eighty   feet    to  a   stake   and   stones,    then 
southerly  on   land  of   the   grantor    two  hun- 
dred  and   five    feet    to   said   street,    thence 


Easterly   on   said   Street   one  hundred  and 
seventy   five    feet   to   the  bound   first 
mentioned   and   containing  about   three 
fourths   of   an  acres  more   or    less. 

To  have   and   to  hold   the  above   granted 
premises  with   the  privileges   and   ap- 
purtenances   thereto  belonging, to   the- said 
Thoreau,   his  heirs   and  assigns,    to   their 
use   and  behoof   forever.    And   I   the   said 
Loring   for  myself   and  my  heirs,    executors 
and  administrators,    do   covenant  with   the 
said  Thoreau,   his  heirs   and  assigns   that 
I   lawfully   seized   in   fee   of   the   afore 
granted  premises;    that   they  are   free 
from  all    incumbrances,    that   I  have   good 
right   to   sell   and   convey   the   same   to   the 
said  Thoreau,    his  heirs   and   assigns    forever 
against    the   lawful   claims   and   demands   of  all 
persons . 

In  witness  whereof,    the   said   David  Loring 
and   Susan  F.    Loring  wife   of   said  David   in 
token  of  her   relinquishment   to  right   to  Dower 
in  the   premises,    have  hereunto   set   our  hands 
and   seals    this    tenth   day   of   September    in    the 
year   of  our  Lord   eighteen  hundred   and    forty 
four.      Executed   and  delivered,    David  Loring 
(seal),    Susan  F.    Loring    (seal), 
in   the   presence   of  us,    George  Loring,    Lydia  A. 
Loring     Middlesex  ss.    Sept.    10th,    1844.    Then 
personally   appeared   the   above   named   David 
Loring  and   acknowledged   the   above   Instrument 
to  his    free    (act)   and  deed,    Before  Me, 
Nathan  Brooks,    Justice   of   the  Peace, 
Middlesex   ss.    Sept.    14,    1844.    Rec'd&  Recorded 
by  Henry   Stone    (?),    Reg. 

John  Thoreau   to  Aug.    Tuttle 

Know  all  Men  by   these  Presents,    That   I, 
John  Thoreau  of  Concord   in  the  County  of 
Middlesex  and  Commonwealth  of  Massachusetts, 
Yeoman, in  consideration  of   five  hundred 
dollars   paid  by  Augustus   Tuttle   of  Concord 
aforesaid,    Yeoman,    the   receipt  whereof   I   do 
hereby   acknowledge,    do  hereby  give,    grant, 
sell   and   convey  unto   the   said  Tuttle,    a   cer- 
tain  tract   of   land    lying   in   said  Concord   as 
follows,    commencing   at    the    southeasterly 
corner  on  a   street   and   by   land   of  Nathan  W. 
Brooks,    running   northerly   on   said   Brooks 
land   one  hundred   and   seventy   seven   feet    to 
a   stake   &   stones,    thence  westerly1 on   land 
of  David  Loring  one  hundred   &   eighty   feet 
to    a    stake    &    stones,     thence    southerly   on 
land   of   said   Loring    two   hundred    and    five 
feet    to   said   street,    thence   easterly  on 
said    street  one  hundred    &    seventy    five    feet 
to   the  bound   first  mentioned   containing 
about   three   fourths   of  an  acre  with  a  dwell- 
ing  house   on   the    same. 

To  Have   and   to  Hold    the   aforegranted 
premises   to   the   said  Augustus   Tuttle,    his 
heirs   and   assigns    to  his   and   their   use   and 
behoof   forever.    And   I   do  covenant  with   the 
said  Tuttle  his  heirs   and   assigns,    that   I 
am   lawfully   seized   in   fee   of   the   aforegrant- 
ed premises:    that    they  are   free   of  all   in- 
cumbrances,   that    I  have   good   right   to   sell 
and   convey   the   same    to    the   said  Tuttle   and 
that    I   will   warrant    and   deferd:    the    same 
premises    to   the   said   Tuttle,    his   heirs   & 
assigns    forever,    against    the   lawful   claims 


<0 


and  demands  of  all  persons.   Provided 
nevertheless,  That  if  the  said  John  Thoreau, 
his  heirs,  executors  or  administrators  pay 
to  the  said  Tuttle,  his  heirs,  executors, 
administrators  or  assigns  the  sum  of  five 
hundred  dollars  in  five  years  with  interest 
semi-annually,  then  this  deed  as  also  a 
certain  note  of  hand  bearing  even  date 
wills  these  presents  given  by  the  said 
Thoreau  to  the  said  Tuttle  to  pay  the  same 
sum  of  five  hundred  dollars  &  interest  at 
the  time  aforesaid  shall  both  be  void; 
otherwise  shall  remain  in  full  force.   In 
witness  whereof,  I  the  said  John  Thoreau 
with  Cynthia  wife  of  said  John  who  hereby 
releases  her  right  of  Dower  in  the  premis- 
es, have  hereunto  set  our  hands  and  seals 
this  first  day  of  September  in  the  year  of 
our  Lord  one  thousand  eight  hundred  and 
forty  four.  Signed,  sealed  and  delivered 
in  the  presence  of  Helen  L.  Thoreau,  Henry 
D.  Thoreau  -  John  Thoreau,  (seal),  Cynthia 
D.  Thoreau  (seal)   Middlesex  ss.  September 
12th  1844.  Then  the  above  named  John 
Thoreau  acknowledged  the  above  Instrument 
to  be  his  free  act  and  deed  -  before  me, 
Nathan  Brooks,  Justice  of  Peace. 
Middlesex  ss.  Sept.  14,  1844,  Rec1d  & 
Recorded  by  Henry  Stone  (?)  Reg. 

Know  all  men  by  these  presents,  That  I 
Augustus  Tuttle  within  named,  in  consider- 
ation of  the  full  payment  of  the  debt  se- 
cured by  the  within  mortgage  by  the  within 
named  John  Thoreau  the  receipt  whereof  is 
hereby  acknowledged  do  hereby  release  & 
quit-claim  unto  the  said  Thoreau  the  lands 
herein  described  and  hold  said  Thoreau 
free  &  acquit  from  all  &  every  claim  that  I 
may  have  upon  him  by  virture  of  the  within 
deed  of  Mortgagery  the  note  secured  there- 
by. Executed  in  presence  of  Geo.  M.  Brooks 
Middlesex  ss  Sept.,  1855.  Then  personally 
appeared  Augustus  Tuttle  and  acknowledged 
the  foregoing  instrument  to  be  his  free 
act  and  deed.  Before  me  Geo.  M.  Brooks, 
Jus.  of  Peace   Cambridge,  Feb.  11,  1856. 
Rec'd  &  Recorded  by  Cabel  Hayden,  Reg. 


3 


9-22-53 


THE  1990  ANNUAL  MEETING  .  .  . 


The  1990  annual  meeting  of  the  society- 
will  be  held  on  Saturday,  July  14,  1990, 
in  the  First  Parish  Church  in  Concord, 
Mass.   Coffee  and  a  social  hour  will  begin 
at  9  a.m.   The  business  meeting  will  start 
at  9:45.   Thomas  Planding  will  deliver  the 
presidential  address  and  it  will  be  follow- 
ed by  a  concert-lecture  conducted  by  Walter 
Harding  and  friends  on  "Musical  Tributes 
to  Thoreau."   Saturday  afternoon  Jack  Bor- 
den will  speak  on  "Using  Thoreau's  Writings 
to  Gain  a  Deeper  Awareness  of  the  Beauty 
and  Wonder  of  the  Sky";  there  will  be  a 
forum  on  "Approaches  to  Teaching  Thoreau"; 
and  Marcia  Moss  will  conduct  her  special 
tour  of  the  Thoreau  treasures  in  the  Con- 
cord Free  Public  Library.   In  the  evening 
Tom  Potter  will  conduct  a  multi-media 
perspective  on  "Thoreau,  the  greatest 
Essay."   On  Friday  evening,  the  13th, 


Anne  McGrath  will  speak  at  the  church  on 
"Henry  Thoreau t  Correspondent."  And  on 
Sunday  morning,  the  15th,  Mary  Sherwood, 
chairwoman  of  Walden  Forever  Wild,  will 
conduct  a  nature  walk  at  Walden  Pond. 
At  Saturday  noon,  a  luncheon  will  be 
served  at  the  church,  and  Saturday  even- 
ing a  supper  will  be  served  at  the  Ly- 
ceum.  Tickets  for  each  of  these  events 

are  $12.00  apiece  and  reservations  must  be 
made  in  advance  before  Wednesday.  July  11th, 
at  the  Thoreau  Lyceum,  156  Belknap  St., 
Concord,  Mass.  01742  (Telephone:  508-369-5912, 

The  nominating  committee  announces  that 
their  candidate  for  president  at  the  annual 
election  will  be  Dr.  Edmund  Schofield  of 
Scituate,  Mass. 


pUtsf* 


9-22-53 


NOTES  AND  QUERIES  .  .  . 

We  welcome  into  being  volume  one,  number 
one  of  TON:  THOREAU  RESEARCH  NEWSLETTER  for 
January,  1990,  issued  by  Bradley  P.  Dean 
(P.O.Box  562,  Conner,  Mont.  59827).   It  is 
a  clearinghouse  on  research  on  Thoreau  and 
will  appear  quarterly.   Subscriptions  are 
seven  dollars.   And  may  all  its  issues  be 
as  stimulating  and  interesting  as  this  one. 

COLLECTORS'  CORNER:   Joseph  Rubinfine 
(505  S.  Flagler  Dr.,  Suite  1301,  W.Palm 
Beach, Fla. 33401 )  is  offering  the  manuscript 
of  Horace  Greeley's  letter  of  March  11,  1853 
to  Thoreau  for  $2500. 

BOOKMAN'S  PRICE  INDEX,  Vol.  39,  lists  the 
following  recent  sales:  1st  of  CAPE  COD,  $300, 
$100;  Watson  ed.  of  CAPE  COD,  $135,  $200;  1st 
of  EARLY  SPRING,  $150;  1st  of  EXCURSIONS,  $150; 
1st  &  LAST  JOURNEYS,  $250;  LETTERS  TO  VAR .  PER- 
SONS, $650;  1st  of  MAINE  WOODS,  $300;  1st  of 
WALDEN,  $3000;  1st  English  of  WALDEN,  $175, 
$450;  1st  of  WEEK,  $2000,  $225;  MS  Edition, 
$4000;  1st  of  YANKEE,  $450,  $275.   AMERICAN 
BOOK  PRICES  CURRENT  1989  lists:  1st  of  CAPE 
COD  (Rockwood  Hoar's  copy),  $950;  1st  of 
MAINE  WOODS,  $160;  1st  of  WALDEN,  $2800, 
$600;   1st  of  WEEK,  $2200;  1862  WEEK,  $800; 
MS  Edition,  $2800,  $2400.   ALS,  Nov.  15,  1850, 
T  to  Franklin  Forbes,  $4000;  ALS,  Feb.  2,1855, 
T  to  Sanborn,  $6500;  ALS,  Mar.  8,  1857,  T  to 
Mary  Brown,  $5000. 

Composer  John  LaMontaine  has  recently  donat- 
ed to  the  Thoreau  Society  Archives  both  a  re- 
cording and  the  score  of  his  beautiful  "Wilder- 
ness Journal"  based  on  a  text  from  Thoreau. 
On  Feb.  26,  Anne  McGrath,  curator  of  our 
lyceum,  lectured  at  West  Concord  Depot  on 
Sophia  Thoreau. 

May  24-6,  Hellgate  Writers  (210  North 
Higgins,  Missoula,  MT  59802)  will  sponsor  a 
conference  on  "In  the  Thoreau  Tradition:  Na- 
ture and  the  Written  Word."  Among  the  speak- 
ers will  be  Robert  Richardson. 

At  the  July  annual  meeting,  details  of 
the  gift  of  a  remarkable  collection  of 
manuscripts  relating  to  Thoreau  and  his 
New  Bedford  friend  Daniel  Ricketson,  to 
the  Thoreau  Society  archives  by  Ray  E. 
Parmenter  of  Wrentham,  Mass.  will  be  an- 
nounced. 


Richard  O'Connor  is  compiling  a  check- 
list of  birds  seen  on  the  Walden  Pond 
State  Reservation  and  would  appreciate 
receiving  word  of  any  unusual  species 
seen  thereon  or  learning  of  any  check- 
lists of  the  birds  of  the  reservation 
past  or  present.   He  should  be  addressed 
at  the  Thoreau  Lyceum,  156  Belknap  St., 
Concord,  Mass.  01742,  where  many  of  you 
know  him  as  a  guide  there. 

Thomas  Blanding  is  conducting  a  seminar  on 
Thoreau 's  natural  history  essays  at  the  Tho- 
reau Lyceum  for  eight  weeks  this  spring.   He 
also  spoke  on  the  conservation  problems  at 
Walden  Pond  on  the  CHRISTIAN  SCIENCE  MONITOR'S 
Forum  program  for  cable  TV  and  public  radio, 
broadcast  widely  in  early  February. 

Publicity  over  that  controversy  continues 
widespread.   See,  for  example,  HISTORIC  PRE- 
SERVATION for  Feb.,  1990;  LINCOLN  JOURNAL, 
Nov.  30,  1989;  CONCORD  JOURNAL,  Dec.  21,  1989, 
Jan. 25, 1990, Feb. 1,  1990;  AUDUBON  MAGAZINE, 
Jan.  1990;  POETS  &  WRITERS  MAGAZINE,  Jan.  1990; 
USA  TODAY,  Dec. 28,  1989,  Jan. 3,  1990;  and  BOS- 
TON GLOBE,  Dec.  20,  1989. 

The  latest  LAND'S  END  catalog  quotes  Tho- 
reaui  "All  good  things  are  cheap;  all  bad 
very  dear . " 

THE  NEW  MENCKEN  LETTERS,  edited  by  Carl 
Bode  (New  York:  Dial,  1977,  p.  564)  quotes  a 
letter  from  Mencken  to  W.H.Archer:  "Thoreau 
was  an  amusing  fellow,  and  I  agree  with  him 
in  very  large  part.   Nevertheless,  I  have 
never  been  able  to  convince  myself  that  he 
was  really  profound.   Unhappily,  he  has  been 
horribly  belabored  by  pinks  of  all  sorts.   I 
wish  there  were  a  really  good  edition  of  his 
writings."  (Aug.  21,  1946). 

J.Miller  has  called  to  our  attention  that 
all  photographs  of  Thoreau  show  white  under  the 
iris  of  the  eye.   In  Japan  this  condition  is 
known  as  Sanpaku  and  is  supposed  to  indicate  a 
tragically  short  life. 

On  March  11,  1939,  the  novelist  Scott  Fitz- 
gerald wrote  his  daughter  Scott ie,  "After 
reading  Thoreau  I  felt  how  much  I  have  lost 
by  leaving  nature  out  of  my  life."   (LETTERS, 
ed.  by  Andrew  Turnbull  (New  York:  Scribners, 
1963,  p.  51). 

Charlotte  Adams  writes  that  she  has  recently 
come  across  a  note  among  Raymond  Adams'  papers 
saying  that  in  1934  he  interviewed  Mrs.  Mary 
Coughlin  of  Concord  "whose  mother  worked  for 
Mrs.  Thoreau  at  the  time  Henry  lived  at  Walden 
and  while  Mr.  Thoreau  was  sick;  in  fact,  the 
mother  was  married  at  the  Thoreau  house."  A 
further  indication  of  the  Thoreau  family's 
concern  and  interest  in  their  Irish  neighbors. 

A  fish  caught  in  Walden  Pond  recently  was 
found  to  contain  a  gold,  horseshoe-shaped 
diamond  ring  appraised  at  $600,  according  to 
the  CONCORD  JOURNAL  for  Feb.  1,  1990.  We  are 
quite  sure  it  wasn't  Henry's. 

Jonathan  T.  Grimes,  a  Minnesota  nursery 
man,  reports  in  his  memoirs  written  in  1898: 
"During  the  sixties  I  had  an  unusual  experience. 
Mr.  Henry  D.  Thoreau,  poet-naturalist,  came  to 
Minnesota  on  account  of  his  health.   He 
boarded  with  a  Mrs.  Hamilton  who  had  an  ex- 
clusive boarding  house  on  the  shore  of  Lake 
Calhoun  .  .  .  where  many  southern  people  had 


7 
been  guests  before  the  war.   As  Mr.  Thoreau 
was  a  lover  of  trees  and  flowers  he  often 
visited  with  me  and  one  can  imagine  the 
pleasures  Mr.  Thoreau  must  have  derived 
from  roaming  through  Linden  Hills  when  Lake 
Harriet  was  surrounded  by  a  virgin  forest." 
[from  THE  GRIMES  FAMILY  by  May  Agatha  Grimes 
(Minneapolis:  Lund,  1946,  p.  20).   It  was 
Grimes,  incidentally,  who  finally  succeeded 
in  showing  Thoreau  the  wild  crab  apple. 

"At  present  I  am  reading  my  seventh  vol- 
ume of  Thoreau.   The  very  richest  of  his 
thoughts  I  have  struck  yet.   FAMILIAR  LET- 
TERS, edited  by  Frank  Sanborn.   Wonderfully 
appealing,  and  brings  one  in  closest  touch 
with  Thoreau  as  a  fellow  man.   The  book  in- 
terprets a  side  of  the  philosopher  which 
most  biographers  have  purposely  avoided, 
apparently  to  intensify  their  conception 
of  the  man  as  stoic. 

"FAMILIAR  LETTERS  tells  you  how  inter- 
ested he  was  in  the  house  cat,  and  what  ten- 
derness he  showed  for  his  home  people  and 
his  few  friends.   The  letters  are  full  of 
genuine  pathos,  not  because  they  are  pathe- 
tic, but  because  they  are  so  tender,  and  so 
sincere. 

"Even  in  moments  of  intense  grief,  when 
he  lost  his  favorite  brother,  'John, '  his 
child  friend,  'Waldo'  (Emerson's  oldest  boy), 
and  his  own  father,  his  letters  are  whole- 
some, so  hopeful  and  uplifting,  that  one 
feels  the  more,  perhaps,  his  profoundly 
deep  Grief." — N.C.Wyeth,  THE  WYETHS  (Boston: 
Gambit,  1971.  p.  339. 

Marston  Watson's  Plymouth  estate,  Hillside, 
which  Thoreau  once  surveyed,  has  now  become 
a  real  estate  development   and  one  of  its 
streets  is  labeled  "Thoreau  Road." 

A  cartoon  in  the  August  22,  1989  MIDDLE- 
SEX NEWS  contrasts  cranes  (blue  herons) 
that  Thoreau  saw  at  Walden  with  building 
cranes  now  seen  there. 

^-14-53 


On  the  next  page  we  reproduce  with  the 
permission  of  the  Concord  Free  Public  Li- 
brary Dr.  Edward  Jarvis's  map  of  the  Mill- 
dam  of  Concord  Village  as  it  was  in  Tho- 
reau' s  childhood.    This  is  now  the  north- 
ern end  of  the  main  shopping  district  in 
Concord.   As  this  map  shows,  the  main 
street  was  then  literally  a  milldam  with 
a  mill  pond  (now  long  since  drained)  be- 
hind the  stores  on  the  east  side.   The 
mill  brook  still  crosses  the  area  though 
it  is  now  completely  covered  over  where 
it  crosses  the  street. 

Jarvis  (1803-1884)  was  one  of  Concord's 
most  distinguished  citizens.   A  member  of 
the  Social  circle,  he  became  a  widely 
known  pioneer  in  the  treatment  of  the  men- 
tally ill,  in  the  field  of  statistics, 
and  in  census-taking.   A  number  of  his 
manuscripts,  including  HOUSES  &  PEOPLE 
IN  CONCORD,  1810-1820,  from  which  this 
map  is  taken,  are  now  in  the  Concord  Free 
Public  Library. 


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